Germs on Your Own Terms

For many people, getting a cold or the flu in the winter is inevitable. You just hope it doesn’t happen at the worst time, like on Christmas or during your vacation. Now one company has come up with a clever way to allow you to get sick on your own terms.

A Los Angeles company called Vaev is selling boxes of used tissues loaded with germs and bacteria to serve as an alternative to the flu vaccine. The idea is simple: Expose yourself to the virus when it's most convenient to you so that your body strengthens its immune system and you won't get sick on your wedding day, on day of the school play or during the big trip you've been planning for months.

Each box costs $80 and can be purchased online. Not surprisingly, the idea has been met with skepticism. But the company's founder, Oliver Niessen, says it's very real and tells Time magazine, "The simple idea is you choose now to get sick, with the idea in mind that you won’t get sick with that same cold…later. You’d wipe your nose with a Vaev tissue a few days before leaving on vacation, for instance, and get your cold out of the way before your trip... We customize everything in our lives and we have everything the way that we want it, so why not approach sickness that way as well?”

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